Gunny Sacking

Gunny Sacking

This Blog is about Letting Go, Feeling Light and Good About Yourself.

When I was pursuing my Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree, the most impactful course I took was not a business course but a Speech course. The most important concept in the Speech course was “Gunny Sacking”.

The concept is so crucial to my life that I told it to my kids when they were young. I would like to share it now with you, my Blog readers.

And the second most important concept I got to appreciate from the Speech course? Interdependency. Not being independent and yet not being dependent. But that is a blog for another time.

The name “gunny sack” is derived from the Indian word “goni” meaning fibre. Goni was anglosised to “gunny“, referring to the cheap and popular jute sacks used to store and transport grain.

To “gunny sack” is to conveniently throw all unresolved issues into your emotional and mental depository (brain and heart). I’m reminded of the Andrews Sisters’ song “Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag And Smile, Smile, Smile”. Nice catchy (campfire) song but I prefer to the “letting go” than the “packing up” of my troubles.

If left unchecked, one day your internal “gunny sack” will become bloated, soggy and pungent – basically unhealthy and soul devouring. Akin to sulking 10,000 steps a day.

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One not-so-fine day, when you least expect it, the “gunny sack” will suddenly burst (above image). The Shit has hit the fan. Your Shit. People around you are upset and shocked but you can’t leave the room, you have to clean up the mess. Your Mess.

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It’s always good to solve all problems – on a daily basis – nipping it in the bud and discarding it away and not depositing it into your “gunny sack”. Always keep your gunny sack clean, empty and light hearted (above image).

I have just finished listening to Michael McDonald’s excellent audiobook “What A Fool Believes”. Michael McDonald is an iconic singer who sang with Doobie Brothers and Steel Dan and enjoyed a successful solo music career.

In the audiobook where Michael himself is the narrator, he candidly shares a 30+ year grudge he had harboured in his heart against a former friend. Finally, based on sage advise from a guru friend, he’s urge to call the guy up to forgive him. Amidst the guy listening to Michael spew his venom out, he kept very silent. Finally the guy innocently asked what had happened that pissed Michael off so much, the guy had moved on in his life. Michael had, meanwhile, been harbouring unnecessary venom that was poisoning only himself, all while the protagonist was happily living his life. Talk about consuming poison, hoping it would kill the other guy.

As for me, the concept of “gunny sacking” has served me well since learning about it, four decades ago, in my Speech class. My gunny sack a.k.a. “old kit bag” is slim, empty and clean. All problems are worked out before I get home.

When I get home, I leave my problems outside, as per my dirty shoes (Asian domestic custom).

I hope this Blog has been useful and cleansing.

May the “gunny sack” behind your back be empty, clean and light-hearted!

Oh yes, before I forget – to any of my detractors sulking miserably out there, stop drinking that harmful poison, I didn’t even realised that I had offended you. Do give Michael McDonald’s excellent audiobook a good cleansing listen.